Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Researchers say personal care products expose kids to harmful parabens

Researchers are warning that lotions, shampoos and other personal care products (PCPs), are likely exposing infants and toddlers to potentially harmful substances, called parabens, at an even higher level than adult women.

Parabens have been linked to reproductive and other health issues and are used in a wide range of products, from medical devices to children's toys, as well as personal care products.

Most people are exposed to them every day — for example, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that more than 90 percent of the population is exposed to these substances. The body breaks them down quickly, but both have been detected in urine, breast milk and blood. Research has suggested a link between these substances and health issues in animals and people, such as sperm damage, breast cancer and an increased risk for asthma.

For their study researchers, Kurunthachalam Kannan and Ying Guo collected 170 samples of makeup, lotions, shampoos and other products, including 20 items for babies, and tested them for nine phthalates and six parabens. Both substances were found in the PCPs. In baby products, phthalate concentrations were low, but parabens were common. When the researchers calculated possible exposure levels, they estimated that the potential daily skin exposure to parabens by infants and toddlers could be as much as two to three times higher than that for adult women.

They published their findings in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

In previous studies, Kannan and Guo's team also discovered that indoor dust contributed to phthalate exposure. To reduce poor indoor air, be sure to increase ventilation and use a good quality HEPA air filter. AllerAir air purifiers remove 99.97% of airborne dust, particles and the chemicals and odors that other air cleaners leave behind. Connect with us to learn more about the importance of clean indoor air

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